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UCLA Magazine Fall 2003
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Show off that smile

Show off that smile

Reed Hutchinson '71,
UCLA Photographic services

Resident Janet Schrodi works on
Matthew Marks’ braces while his mom observes.

By Marina Dundjerski '94

For more than two decades, the School of Dentistry’s Orthodontic Clinic has been treating patients of all ages, using the most up-to-date technologies available, for a fraction of the cost of private practices.

What many patients don’t know is that the residents treating them — under the supervision of a faculty member — are among the top 3 percent of their class. Each year, about 6,700 apply to residency programs in orthodontics in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico; only 290 are accepted, says Dentistry Professor Leroy Vego, “and we usually get the top pick. It’s an exclusive club.”

For pediatric dentistry and orthodontics resident Janet Schrodi, the direct connection to patients is what’s most beneficial. “Sometimes in a really fast-paced private practice, the orthodontist is overseeing treatment and is not necessarily the person doing the work,” she says.

Karyn M. Marks, a transplant coordinator in the Dumont-UCLA Transplant Center, has been bringing her 14-year-old son Matthew to the clinic for three years.

Matthew lacks two permanent teeth, so his treatment includes closing that gap. “On every visit we show Mrs. Marks how the progress is coming along,” Schrodi says.

Adds Karyn Marks, “It’s been really nice to know exactly what’s going on.” Matthew concurs. “I really like their attitude. They’re not pushy,” he says. “The doctors let you understand what they’re doing.”

Matthew said the experience has inspired him to pursue orthodontics as a career. He’s already begun taking Latin classes in preparation.

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© 2005 The Regents of the University of California